Tulsa Massacre Survivors Get Their Say and ‘60 Minutes’ Edited a Black Scientist Out of Her Own Interview

Catch up on the race and racism stories you may have missed

Stephanie Siek
Momentum
Published in
4 min readMay 21, 2021

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Viola Fletcher, the oldest living survivor of the Tulsa Race Massacre, testifies before the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Subcommittee hearing on “Continuing Injustice: The Centennial of the Tulsa-Greenwood Race Massacre” on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. on May 19, 2021. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

We start this week’s racial news roundup with lessons of the past, as we edge closer to the May 31 centennial of the Tulsa Race Massacre. Some of the massacre’s oldest survivors have just told a House subcommittee about all that was lost beyond lives and property — chances for education, generational wealth, and the sense that American justice could work in their favor. Read on to find out how the sickle cell trait is blamed for Black people’s deaths in police custody, and how a Black man’s devastating accident led to an app that helps people with disabilities find accessible businesses.

Survivors of the Tulsa Race Massacre speak

Viola Fletcher, at 107 years old, is the oldest survivor of the massacre that destroyed Tulsa’s prosperous Greenwood district and killed as many as 300 people. It also destroyed what had been a comfortable childhood for Fletcher. On May 19, days before the massacre’s 100th anniversary, she and her 100-year-old brother told their story to the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Constitution, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties. “I have lived through the massacre every day. Our country may forget this history, but I cannot,” she said. Fletcher had to leave school in the fourth grade and worked most of her life as a domestic worker for White families. She expressed frustration that others, including the city of Tulsa, used the massacre to raise money, while survivors like herself continue to live in poverty. You can view the full 15 minutes of testimony from her and her brother here, and it’s worth watching.

Of all the places to pee, did they have to do it there?

Gabriel Adkins, a Black councilperson in Elizabeth City, North Carolina, says security cameras captured a uniformed sheriff’s officer relieving himself on a property Adkins owns — an act he believes is retaliation for supporting and organizing protests against the fatal police shooting of Anthony Brown. The property allegedly being used as a urinal is — wait for it — a funeral home. That’s right, an officer of…

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Stephanie Siek
Momentum

Stephanie Siek is a writer and editor who loves cats, cookie dough and aborted alliteration.